Monday, April 20, 2009

Coming out of Hibernation

I have been in a state of hibernation for quite a while now. Brenda called me a recluse. We used to take a lot of trips together but we've hardly been anywhere for the last year or so. She was unhappy that her traveling companion deserted her. She said she thought it was because of depression but it really wasn't. I was simply involved in other things that kept me home - reading (I've discovered several new authors I love), writing (I just completed a novel) and watching NASCAR (which takes up most of every weekend during the season). Going to Florida to see the kids seemed to reawaken me to the pleasures of journeying again though, that and the fact of reaching a natural pause in my writing. So I promised Brenda that my reclusive persona has been put away and we're going to hit the road again more often.

We started Easter weekend with a trip to Nashville, Indiana, where we spent the night. Nashville is one of our favorite places because of all the little shops, the art galleries, the down home restaurants as well as the sense of timelessness that permeates Nashville despite its commercialism. Brown County is a beautiful part of the state with its wooded hills and grassy valleys and log houses (the most of any county in Indiana) and small towns like Gnaw Bone and Story. Story is a quaint old village caught in a time warp, except that the general store is also a fine restaurant, one not to be passed up if you're in that area. We were lucky to be able to shop in Nashville for homemade candy and leather goods, jewelry and books, rugs and soap in between downpours.

The next day, we set off for the horse racing track at Shelbyville with its new casino. Along the way, we stopped at the Outlet Mall in Edinburgh. Brenda is attending a class for which she was instructed to dress in "office casual". I used to think I knew what office casual meant but for the younger girls, casual is a lot more casual than it used to be. The road we were supposed to take to Shelbyville was closed for road construction. Secure in our ability to find a short cut, (although there is nothing in our past experience that would instill such confidence), we ignored the official detour. Our shortcut ended up taking twice as along as if we'd followed the State Highway's Department's route because we got lost. Neither of us have a sense of direction so once we ended up out in farm country, we hadn't a clue, and just guessed whenever we came to a tee road.

Eventually, we wandered into Shelbyville via the back door and found our way to the casino. Of course, getting lost and arriving late probably saved us money since we had less time to throw our dollars into the slot machines. Perhaps because they are new and they want to encourage return visits, the slots at Shelbyville seemed loose. Of course, I lost all my money in the end anyway but I seemed to lose it more slowly than normal.

I couldn't pass up a visit to the bookstore so we stopped in at Mounds Mall in Anderson where they have a really neat used bookstore. I bought five books there. (New favorite authors: Barry Eisler, Charlie Huston, Andrew Vachss, Tom Cain, Tim Hallinan, William Lashner). My taste in reading has gotten more out of the mainstream than it used to be so I have to order more from Amazon.com.

Brenda was thrilled that she has her old road partner back. We're planning our next trip to Lake Michigan but we're going to wait for the weather to warm up.....if it ever does.